(b. 1508, Padova, d. 1580, Maser)

Exterior view

Palazzo Iseppo Porto, Vicenza

Up to 1556 Palladio produced three basic palace types. The first, in 1550, was the Palazzo Chiericati, in which he extended his Palazzo Civena forum idea of a block with its axis parallel to the pavement, which it envelops in a loggia, or roofed open gallery. The tripartite division of the colonnaded elevation, which gives the building a definite central focus, was an innovation.

The second, in 1552, was seen in the Palazzo Iseppo Porto, Vicenza, in which he stated in its clearest form his reconstruction of a Roman house. The façade was closely based on the Roman Renaissance palace type, such as Bramante's House of Raphael (c. 1514), which Palladio had drawn in Rome. But it was planned in what Palladio believed to be the ancient Roman style. Two tetrastyle halls with four columns each were placed on opposite sides of a court surrounded by a giant colonnade of Corinthian columns.

The third, in 1556, was in the Palazzo Antonini in Udine, which has a square plan with a central four-column tetrastyle hall and the service quarters asymmetrically to one side. The façade has six columns, which are attached to the wall rather than freestanding and which are centrally placed on each of the two floors, surmounted by a pediment or a low-pitched gable - a device normally used in his villas.

The Palazzo Iseppo Porto (also called Palazzo da Porto Festa) was commissioned by the noble Iseppo da Porto (d. 1580), a patron of Palladio and Veronese. The building had a rather long designing stage and a longer and troublesome realization, partially unfinished.

The Palazzo Iseppo Porto, which exists today as a fragment of a larger and more imposing plan, was designed by Palladio as an urban residence to introduce into Venetian architecture a new synthesis of contemporary Roman style, ancient classical tradition, and Venetian building customs. The result, which shows Palladio's fully matured style and imaginative fantasy, carries the imprint of his Roman archaeological studies and his knowledge of the style of Bramante.

The palace was originally planned as a double site reconstructing the antique Roman house as conceived by Palladio, with two residential blocks linked by a peristyle court with colossal columns, although only the front portion was completed. The façade combines various motifs to demonstrate Palladio's mastery of both traditional and innovative forms. He derived the façade from house-types developed by Raphael and Bramante; it comprises two floors and an attic. On the piano nobile engaged columns alternate with tall, balconied windows, which in turn are crowned alternately by segmental and triangular pediments; the façades of all Palladio's urban palaces subsequently used variations on this type, which emphasizes the horizontal articulation.

The photo shows the façade of Palazzo Iseppo Porto.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.